Heart and Steel

man with a sword

“If that’s true, then answer this priest, why are we in these pits, hiding from some animal?” Conan asked “Someday, when all your civilization and science are likewise swept away, your kind will pray for a man with a sword.”

— Robert E. Howard, Rogues in the House (1934)

This quote was on my mind this morning after a particularly brutal longsword training session with Connor. He’s thirteen and a half now and beginning to be more than a handful. I’m still stronger and more experienced, but his endurance and speed are becoming a thing to be reckoned with.

A sword is an extension of one’s self, as much a part of you as the flesh and bone of your body, to be sure, but also of your will, spirit, and intelligence.

If all were to be swept away, and we were sword armed against the rising horde, I can think of no one I’d rather have at my side than Conn.

Occult Detective: The Roleplaying Game Rulebooks

Rulebooks

The Four Core Rulebooks are coming along. They’ve certainly been the most challenging. I’ve written a few modules and worn a GMs cap for decades, but actually putting rules on paper is an unheralded and daunting task.

Connor has been an enormous help, and I doubt I would have ventured as far as I have without his interest. He has kept me honest, for one, and he has a keen eye for mechanics and things that are easily neglected.

I imagine the rulebooks are still a couple of months from being wrapped. Everything else is a near finish. I should have the prototype in hand within a week or so. Till then I’ll keep plugging away and then we’ll begin Phase II of playtesting.

cover

Draugr

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of contributing to a web-feature on Horror Delve titled Ultimate Fantasy Creature List, sort of a companion to last year’s Ultimate Fantasy Weapons List.

For ‘Creature’ I tackled the draugr, providing both a very brief overview of the wight in question and a bit of artwork as well. I thought you might like a better look at the illustration… Not my best work, but fun nonetheless.

draugir

 

Happy Birthday, Frank Frazetta

frank_frazetta

FRANK FRAZETTA
February 9, 1928 — May 10, 2010

If I were to make a list of my Top 5 Influences, there is zero doubt that Frank Frazetta would be one of the first names to be included. I bought books, magazines, and albums based solely on his artwork, content be damned. His illustrations covered my walls, fired my imagination, and haunted my dreams.

Frank painted with a primal spirit and feral sexuality that was infectious. No artist had the impact on me that Frank Frazetta had. He created whole worlds with a brushstroke…

conan

frazetta-castle-of-sin